Greater Palm Springs:
An oasis for all


Beyond the iconic, other-worldly, Southern Californian desert landscapes, all embraced in a cradle-like topography by four rugged mountain ranges, Greater Palm Springs (encompassing nine cities: Palm Springs itself, Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Indio and Coachella) is an alluring haven characterised by a rich tapestry of cultures, lifestyles and experiences, underpinned by a true sense of belonging and a community that celebrates and embraces inclusivity.

We’ll always remember our first time arriving in Greater Palm Springs. It was like descending into a sunlit dreamscape, where the desert unfolds its arms in a breathtaking hug. As the horizon expanded with amber and gold hues, the landscape’s stark beauty captivated our senses and stirred our souls. Towering palm trees stood sentinel along winding roads, their fronds danced in homage to the warm breeze that whispers ditties of the region’s storied history.

Above all, the sky is a canopy of endless blue, uninterrupted by clouds, its exuberant colour reflected in the sparkling pools and tinted windows of some spellbinding architecture. As the sun descended, the mountains blushed with a rose-tinted tinge, casting long, sultry shadows that stretched across the valley floor. And at twilight, the desert awakens with new magic and stars emerge like scattered diamonds against an inky sky.

Wherever there’s abundant and extravagant nature, there’ll also be spectacular people. So, it will come as no surprise that Greater Palm Springs is a heady blend of cultural influences and fusions, reflected in its diverse population and communities, modern architecture, vibrant arts scene and heterogenous culinary options. Inclusion and a sense of belonging are integral to the tourism experience in Greater Palm Springs, shaping everything from hospitality to cultural offerings. From Native American heritage to Hispanic traditions and contemporary expressions, the region fosters an ambience where different cultures converge and coexist harmoniously. This cultural richness also manifests in a plethora of local events that celebrate diversity.

One of these celebrations is Greater Palm Springs Pride, which happens each year in late October/early November. It’s unique as its date falls outside the rainbow-hued throng of Pride Month celebrations in June. For LGBTQ+ travellers, this is a fantastic time of year to visit. But all year long, each of Greater Palm Springs’ nine cities boasts thriving LGBTQ+ communities and the region has long welcomed LGBTQ+ travellers from far and wide, who come to immerse themselves in the vibrant and festive atmosphere of this welcoming desert oasis.

As a matter of course, we find the LGBTQ+ community here to be deeply intersectional, which reflects other important communities in Greater Palm Springs. There are Native American festivities that visitors can partake in throughout the year and the Black, Asian, Pacific Islander and Latino communities are also widely celebrated. OutThere travellers will also be interested in Hispanic art, particularly in Desert Hot Springs, Rancho Mirage, and Palm Desert.

Art is alive on every corner in Greater Palm Springs… there’s everything from murals, street art and public installations that inspire storytelling to multi-disciplinary artistic dimensions, to dynamic art festivals that feature big-name international artists and home-grown talent. Indio (the oldest city in Greater Palm Springs) has a Historic Mural Project that just fascinated us; and Indian Wells, mostly known for its sports and outdoor pursuits, has a charming arts festival.

And as if to provide a soundtrack to it all, the region has an electrifying music scene. The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival needs no introduction, but there are more intimate gigs too.

Greater Palm Springs is more than just an LGBTQ+ destination, it’s an OutThere destination… a mosaic of identities, cultures and experiences that come together to create a welcoming and inclusive environment that beckons people from all backgrounds. But it is also an escapist, vibrant and lively oasis, with shimmering pools, clear blue skies and huge doses of sunshine, not to mention spellbinding architecture. There are world-class attractions and activities, whether you just want to chill or spend your days out and about exploring, or both! So, consider visiting this veritable OutThere hotspot… and be sure to stay awhile. To help, here are some of our insider tips to get you started…

Where to stay

Greater Palm Springs offers luxury properties that welcome the LGBTQ+ community, allies and travellers of all backgrounds. The Parker Palm Springs, La Quinta Resort and Club and The Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage stand out, but there are LGBTQ+-owned and operated properties too. Gay male OutThere travellers will like Twin Palms and The Hacienda at Warm Sands. During Dinah Shore weekend, party-hearty women congregate at Margaritaville.

Dining and good times

Diverse communities bring a fabulous perk to a destination… and that is a world of fantastic food and a taste for the absolute best in culinary experiences. Hence, there are amazing places to eat, drink and party across Greater Palm Spring’s nine cities.

LGBTQ+ favourites include Bongo Johnny’s Patio Bar and Grill on Palm Canyon Drive and TRIO Restaurant (a James Beard award winner) in the Palm Springs Uptown shopping district. There is also a selection of LGBTQ+ bars to wet your whistle and rub shoulders with your chosen family or newly made friends. Among other restaurants we like are the women-owned and operated Blue Coyote Grill in Palm Springs, Eddie V’s Prime Seafood in Palm Desert and Keedy’s in Indio.

Goings on

Throughout the region, you’ll find LGBTQ+-owned and inclusive businesses and initiatives, not to mention year-round events like White Party Palm Springs in May, Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend in September and Palm Springs Leather Pride. But it’s not all party-oriented either… there’s also Cinema Diverse – the annual LGBTQ+ film festival in September – and Cathedral City LGBT days in March, which we can best explain as a queer take on a county fair, a great option for LGBTQ+ families.

At any time of year, there is always something to do in Greater Palm Springs, so many that it’s almost hard to know where to start. From world-class attractions to hiking, dog-friendly pursuits and wellness… we guarantee you’ll find your tribe. We did!

What makes Greater Palm Springs so great?

A warm LGBTQ+ welcome

With its large, visible and vibrant lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, Greater Palm Springs is a welcoming travel destination for LGBTQ+ OutThere travellers and their friends.
Find out more >

Diversity in the desert

In Greater Palm Springs you’re invited to come and visit just as you are. Long known as an open and welcoming community, they proudly consider themselves an ‘oasis for all’.
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Accessible attractions

Greater Palm Springs strives to be accessible to all visitors, regardless of background or abilities. Many hotels, restaurants and attractions are inclusively designed to accommodate diverse needs.
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A sustainable sanctuary

OutThere travellers know that how we travel is just as important as why we travel, and Greater Palm Springs offers many ways for visitors to enjoy the destination sustainably.
Find out more >

This article is in partnership with Visit Greater Palm Springs.

To help plan your next luxury trip to the inclusive oasis that is Greater Palm Springs, California speak to your travel advisor or head to

Photography courtesy of Visit Greater Palm Springs and the All Inclusive Photo Project, unless individually credited.

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